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2021 Breaking News, Large Newsroom finalist

The Siege on the U.S. Capitol

About the Project

Jan. 6, 2021, created a news moment unlike any in American political history.

The level of violence that unfolded in the seat of American democracy was something that had not been witnessed in Washington in centuries, but in this moment, the journalists who covered the siege — many engulfed by the attack — captured the unfolding scenes for a live audience.

The New York Times’s breaking news coverage of the day presented immediate expertise and updates in a range of narrative structures and multimedia platforms that readers around the world consumed en masse. The use of our live chat platform connected readers throughout the day with Times journalists — some of whom were in the Capitol during the attack — and who delivered second-by-second updates, with context and analysis, on every twist and turn until the late night certification of President Biden’s victory. The live briefing brought readers a holistic view of the day, offering a series of the key highlights and updates that quickly brought our audience up to speed. It was constantly edited, included live video when available, and was regularly updated to offer a digestible, holistic view of the day, incorporating national and international reaction. We also offered live dispatches and scenes from the riot. The highly-visual page, presented in reverse chronology, captured each development as it unfolded, from the vandalism in the Speaker’s office to the arrival of the National Guard, with images by our photojournalists and video from the frontlines. The story of Jan. 6 was inherently visual and central to the coverage of the day was the work done by our video team, which produced clips, live video and packages that immersed readers in the deadly violence and turmoil of the day.

In a way that makes The Times standout, a team of journalists, including graphics editors, produced a comprehensive look at how the mob stormed the Capitol, orienting readers on where the scenes of the violence unfolded, using graphics and visuals.